LinkedIn is a great free platform to build up your work profile. With 500 million people all around to the world using it to advertise themselves and network with others, it has now become the world’s most prominent platform for creating professional profiles and job hunting.
How does LinkedIn work?
Similarly to Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to build up a profile about yourself. All you need to do is replace the selfies with skill sets! You then ‘connect’ with people you know to begin creating your own professional network. Potential employers and hiring managers will be able to see your profile, and you can even use it to directly apply for jobs listed on LinkedIn.
How is LinkedIn different to a CV/resume?
A CV usually is a maximum of 1/2 pages and is still the most usual form of applying for a job. The length limitations mean that you can only really list very relevant work experience, and your most recent work experience.
In LinkedIn, you can log all the work experience you have ever had to build up an in-depth profile. That way, employers can see your entire job history. Unlike a CV/resume, you can use LinkedIn to showcase your portfolio of work, which is especially useful for those in the creative sectors. It can also be made accessible for any employer to see online, unlike a CV/resume, which you usually send to specific employers. Finally, you also use LinkedIn to build up a professional network of connections online. These connections might be potential employers, but they could also just be people who are working in your desired industry, who could share valuable information and advice.
How to build a LinkedIn profile
If you have had a job before, or are currently working, you can start to add in your work experience to your profile.
No paid experience? No problem!
If you have completed unpaid work experience or voluntary work you can include this, or even any relevant activities you have completed that have helped you to build employability skills, such as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Our best tips for logging your experience:
- Keep it succinct. Employers will most likely scan over your whole profile, looking for key areas they are interested in. Don’t ramble.
- Mention your skills. You want to show a new employer the skills you can take to their company, not just that you were excellent in undertaking the responsibilities you previously had.
- What role are you looking for? Write about previous experience with this in mind. If you are looking to work in a specific industry, ensure your experience reflects that you have focused on building key skills to support you working in that area.
- Unifrog’s Activities and Competencies tools to help. If you’ve been keeping your Activities and Competencies up-to-date, now’s the perfect time to take advantage of all that hard work. Look through them and copy over the most relevant to your LinkedIn profile.
What else can be added?
- Education: list the qualifications you have achieved so far, or ones you are working towards.
- Skills: Your skills reflect your ability to perform in a work environment so list as many as you can!
- Accomplishments: Won an award? Completed a MOOC? Make sure to add your certificate in here.
- Interests: You’re more than just a piece of paper. What hobbies set you apart from the rest?
And that’s it – you’re ready to start connecting with people! If you’re sending a connect request to someone you don’t know very well or haven’t even met, it’s polite to accompany it with a short message explaining who you are, the career you’re pursuing, and why you’d like to connect with them. Good luck!
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